Now that a fire has destroyed his restaurant, Fiesta Brava, it is Torres who can use some assistance and the community is there.
The insurance on the building lapsed about a week before the July 27 blaze. Now he is faced with the prospect of building his business from scratch. The good news is he’s not going to have to do it alone.
Over the years, sports teams and community groups asked Torres for help with sponsorships or dinners. He was there. There are probably many businesses in Richmond County that do exactly the same thing every week. They make giving back to the community more than just a slogan but a way of life. It may be far too easy to take these businesses for granted, and we hope we never do.
Terry Barrett of Physical Awareness & Gymnastics in Hamlet was one of those on the receiving end of the restaurant’s generosity. She is now one of those leading the charge to help.
“If every business in Hamlet donated $100, it would make a tremendous difference,” she said. “My business is a luxury, and we’re having a hard time, but I’d be willing to extend myself for this.”
The fire, as tragic as it was, gives Richmond County residents a rare chance to show that they too can give and not just receive. We are a community that knows hard times and knows that helping your neighbor is just something we do.
The Torres family has received donations from Piggly Wiggly and Food Lion. A cornhole tournament will be held Saturday at The Sports Connection. Groups are planning to hold car washes in the future. An account also has been set up at BB&T in Hamlet for people who want to donate.
“My father never imagined we’d get back to running but he’s more motivated now that so many want to help,” said Armando Torres, Fiesta Brava’s general manager and son of the owner in a recent story. “Yesterday was the first time I saw him smiling again while he was shoveling debris at the restaurant.”
All of Richmond County will be able to smile again when the job is complete and Torres can once again operate his restaurant.